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servant

[sur-vuh nt]
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noun
  1. a person employed by another, especially to perform domestic duties.
  2. a person in the service of another.
  3. a person employed by the government: a public servant.
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Origin of servant

1175–1225; Middle English < Old French, noun use of present participle of servir to serve; see -ant
Related formsserv·ant·less, adjectiveserv·ant·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for servant

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • If a servant complained of being abused, his master had no power to retain him.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • At length the servant returned, saying his master was now ready to see them.

    Philothea

    Lydia Maria Child

  • Such a servant of the country should be well paid by the country.

  • "Ask Mrs. Holroyd if she will have the kindness to come here for a minute," he said to the servant.

    Viviette

    William J. Locke

  • "But he said it was most important, sir," the servant went on.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana


British Dictionary definitions for servant

servant

noun
  1. a person employed to work for another, esp one who performs household duties
  2. See public servant
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Derived Formsservant-like, adjective

Word Origin

C13: via Old French, from servant serving, from servir to serve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for servant

n.

c.1200, "personal or domestic attendant," from Old French servant "servant; foot-soldier," noun use of servant "serving, waiting," present participle of servir "to attend, wait upon" (see serve (v.)).

Meaning "professed lover, one devoted to the service of a lady" is from mid-14c. In North American colonies and U.S., the usual designation for "slave" 17c.-18c. (in 14c.-15c. and later in Biblical translations the word often was used to render Latin servus, Greek doulos "slave"). Public servant is attested from 1670s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper